A man named Simeon lived in Jerusalem. He was a good man that truly worshiped God. Simeon was waiting for the time when God would come to help Israel (the Jews). The Holy Spirit was in him. The Holy Spirit told Simeon that he would not die before he saw the Christ from the Lord (God). The Spirit led Simeon to the temple. Mary and Joseph went to the temple to do what the Jewish law said they must do. They brought the baby Jesus to the temple.
— Luke 2:25-27
Simeon is a great figure of Old Testament devotion—he was righteous and devout. He is also a great figure of what will be New Testament devotion—filled with the Holy Spirit, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and led by the Holy Spirit. In this blending of both old and new, we find something fresh, vital, and life-changing: people whose hearts are fully committed to honor God, but acknowledge that their power to be holy comes from the Holy Spirit. Like Simeon, let's make sure we take up the new and not neglect the old. God wants us to be filled with a holy passion for him, his Kingdom, and his hope!
Father, thank you for the Holy Spirit given to me when I became a Christian. I pray that my heart will seek after you and your ways passionately. However, dear Father, I know that my best efforts are not enough. I need the power and leading of your Spirit to be all that I want to be. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
When the baby was eight days old, he was circumcised, and he was named Jesus. This name was given by the angel before the baby began to grow inside Mary. The time came for Mary and Joseph to do the things the law of Moses taught about being made pure. Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Jerusalem so they could present him to the Lord (God). It is written in the law of the Lord (God): "When a mother's first baby is a boy, he shall be called 'special for the Lord.'" The law of the Lord also says that the people must give a sacrifice: "You must sacrifice two doves or two young pigeons." So Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to do this. A man named Simeon lived in Jerusalem. He was a good man that truly worshiped God. Simeon was waiting for the time when God would come to help Israel (the Jews). The Holy Spirit was in him. The Holy Spirit told Simeon that he would not die before he saw the Christ from the Lord (God). The Spirit led Simeon to the temple. Mary and Joseph went to the temple to do what the Jewish law said they must do. They brought the baby Jesus to the temple. Simeon held the baby in his arms and thanked God: "Now, Lord (God), you can let me, your servant, die in peace like you said. I have seen with my own eyes how you will save your people. Now all people can see your plan. He (Jesus) is a light to show your way to the non-Jewish people. He will bring honor to your people, Israel (the Jews)." Jesus' father and mother were amazed at what Simeon said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, "Many Jews will fall and many will rise because of this boy. He will be a sign (proof) from God that some people will not accept. The things that people think in secret will be made known. And the things that will happen will make your heart very sad." Anna, a prophetess, was there at the temple. She was from the family of Phanuel in the Asher family group. Anna was very old. She had been married for seven years. Then her husband died and she lived alone. Shewas now 84 years old. Anna was always at the temple; she never left. She worshiped God by fasting and praying day and night. Anna was there when Joseph and Mary came to the temple. She praised God and talked about Jesus to all the people who were waiting for God to free Jerusalem. Joseph and Mary finished doing all the things that the law of the Lord commanded. Then they went home to Nazareth, their own town in Galilee. The little boy (Jesus) was growing. He became stronger and wiser. God's blessings were with him.
Related Scripture Readings
In the past we were foolish people too. We did not obey, we were wrong, and we were slaves to the many things our bodies wanted and enjoyed. We lived doing evil and being jealous. People hated us and we hated each other. But then the kindness and love of God our Savior was made known. He saved us because of his mercy (love), not because of any good things we did. He saved us through the washing that made us new people. He saved us by making us new through the Holy Spirit. God poured out (gave) to us that Holy Spirit fully through Jesus Christ our Savior. We were made right with God by his grace (kindness). God saved us so that we could be his children and look forward to receiving life that never ends. This teaching is true. And I want you to be sure that the people understand these things. Then the people who believe in God will be careful to use their lives for doing good. These things are good and will help all people.
People that live following their sinful selves think only about things that their sinful selves want. But those people that live following the Spirit are thinking about the things that the Spirit wants them to do. If a person's thinking is controlled by his sinful self, then there is spiritual death. But if a person's thinking is controlled by the Spirit, then there is life and peace. Why is this true? Because if a person's thinking is controlled by his sinful self, then that person is against God. That person refuses to obey God's law. And really that person is not able to obey God's law. Those people that are ruled by their sinful selves cannot please God. But you are not ruled by your sinful selves. You are ruled by the Spirit, if that Spirit of God really lives in you. But if any person does not have the Spirit of Christ, then that person does not belong to Christ. Your body will always be dead because of sin. But if Christ is in you, then the Spirit gives you life, because Christ made you right with God. God raised Jesus from death. And if God's Spirit is living in you, then he will also give life to your bodies that die. God is the One who raised Christ from death. And he will give life to your bodies through his Spirit that lives in you.
But the Spirit gives love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. There is no law that can say these things are wrong. Those people who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified (killed) their own sinful selves. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. We get our new life from the Spirit. So we should follow the Spirit.